May 15, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Hatton National Bank, which has more than two million customers, has launched a mobile banking platform to which it is planning to draw 300,000 users in the next three years, officials said. Rodrigo said from next month the service will allow transfers to accounts in other banks.
Jonathan Alles, deputy chief executive said the bank planned to popularize mobile banking in rural areas. Unlike computers, he said practically every adult now had a mobile phone.
“Internet banking may take a little longer to get into rural areas,” Alles said. “But everyone in rural areas has a mobile. We plan to engage them today.”
HNB’s ‘Gemi Puduwa’ micro-finance scheme has always been a brick and mortar operation.
“At the start it was an effort to get them into banking,” Alles said. “Now they are used to it. They are getting quite busy. Now it’s time to do transactions while they are busy doing their work.
“So complementing this brick and mortar model, you will see HNB going into a state-of-the-art technology driven, micro-finance module very shortly.”
Chief executive Rajendra Theagarajah said HNB had first launched a basic text message based mobile banking service as far back as 2